Monday: 7:30 A.M. English Class

Do you reach for the sky, or just get by?

Minnie Phillips is bracing for her first-period 10th-grade English students. She always has them at 7:30 a.m., a launch time that is an insult to the teenage metabolism.

"Would you please turn to page 23 in your vocabulary workbook?"

A groan. "Can't we just sleep instead?" Phillips runs through some words--assuage, brandish, staid--before getting down to business, a discussion of Eugenia Collier's short story Sweet Potato Pie. "What's unusual about this title?" No one bites, so she answers her own question. "It has pie! Now how many of you have not had sweet-potato pie?"

Only a few raise their...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!